| 6.6°C Dublin

'Naive' Higgins cleared of fixing

Snooker: John Higgins stressed the most he had been guilty of was naivety after accepting the six-month ban and £75,000 fine handed out to him after being cleared of match-fixing.

Speaking outside the hearing, Higgins said: "I have never been involved in any form of snooker match-fixing. I am glad the WPBSA's view of the events in Kiev reflects that statement.

"If I am guilty of anything, it is naivety and trusting those who I believed were working in the best interests of snooker and myself."

Higgins, suspended on May 2, will be banned from the game until midnight on November 1.

Meanwhile, world champion Neil Robertson blamed a lack of sleep for his defeat by Peter Ebdon in the first round of the Shanghai Masters yesterday.

Pádraig on to Paris

GOLF: Pádraig Harrington will tie up his Ryder Cup preparations at this month's Vivendi Cup in Paris after he was eliminated from the FedEx Cup Series last weekend.

The Irishman was eliminated from the end-of-season PGA Tour series after he missed the cut at the Deutsche Bank Championships. "I am delighted to be playing there for the first time," he said.

Roche falling away

CYCLING: Ireland's Nicolas Roche has dropped one place to ninth in the overall standings on the Tour of Spain after he cracked about two or three kilometres from the summit into Andorra.

Stage 11 saw specialist climber Igor Anton of Spain exaggerate his suffering to outfox his rivals before launching a counter attack to take his second solo win of the race and regain the overall lead, 45 seconds ahead of Vincenzo Nibali of Italy.

Irish rider Philip Deignan quit at the race's halfway point.

Ferrari force rethink

F1: Ferrari left yesterday's World Motor Sport Council hearing with a smile on their face after a decision was taken to review the regulations on team orders.

Although still forced to pay the US$100,000 fine imposed by stewards after a controversial German Grand Prix in July, Ferrari could not be happier.

Ferrari have still been found guilty of breaking the rules as the WMSC upheld the stewards' decision, but the team were able to convince the Council that the rule is in need of a rethink.

MLB: Washington 2 NY Mets 3, NY Yankees 3 Baltimore 2, LA Angels 4 Cleveland 3 (16 innings), Pittsburgh 3 Atlanta 9, Detroit 5 Chicago White Sox 1, Philadelphia 10 Florida 6, Toronto 1 Texas 8, Boston 11 Tampa Bay 5, Chicaco Cubs 0 Houston 4, Minnesota 4 Kansas City 3, Milwaukee 8 St Louis 1, Colorado 9 Cincinnati 2, Arizona 3 San Francisco 1, San Diego 4 LA Dodgers 0, Oakland 4 Seattle 3.